Laura Thomas Takes The Reins at XO

September 26th, 2011 by · 128 Comments

Ever since Carl Icahn finished taking full control of XO Holdings (news, filings), some sort of shift in leadership has been inevitable. With Grivner gone since May, and the chairman unlikely to sell the company for a year at least, there remains work to be done. But would they seek outside blood in an effort to rejuvenate the company? Or promote from within and give a 'steady as she goes' signal?

Well, the latter seems to be the case. The board has appointed the current CFO Laura Thomas as interim CEO. Ms. Thomas took over as CFO in 2009, and now has Icahn's blessing to run the whole shebang. She will "will drive the company's strategic focus on IP and data solutions, focusing on excellence in customer experience while aligning the company's resources toward continued operational efficiencies" which is the long way to say they'll probably keep on doing what they're currently doing and eschew any big new investments.

The fact that it is an interim position and that she retains her CFO responsibilities leaves open the possibility that Icahn might still move from defense to offense at some point by bringing in additional muscle, but it is just as easy to envision Thomas will still be holding the reins next fall when the company could go up for sale without having to pay out anything to the former minority shareholders.

Or who knows, maybe she's ready to rock and roll...  Never say never.

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Categories: CLEC · Metro fiber

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128 Comments So Far


  • Anonymous says:

    This is one of the biggest jokes of all times!!!!She is under-qualified as CFO much less being CEO.

    • anonymous says:

      More changes for XO with the same leadership. Looks like they are putting lipstick on the pig. The leadership team at the VP – Director level is a joke and should have been replaced long ago.

  • Mr. P00P3rs says:

    So very true. And to think the former CIO could rise to the COO and run all of network, IT, service delivery, etc is a joke. This company is a joke. period.

  • To the Bomb Shelter! says:

    There is a lot of executive movement today at XO. Who has info?

  • JJL says:

    Dan Wagner for SEO!!!!

  • To the Bomb Shelter! says:

    Major RIF coming, you hear anything Rob?

  • Anonymously says:

    Rob,
    It may be to early to ask this question but any insight who’s looking to buy XO. Rumor has it that layoffs will happen before the end of this year.

    Anonymously

    • Rob Powell says:

      Heh, I’ve speculated on that often enough in the past that people groan when I do it nowadays. The situation has not changed, TWTC, LVLT, ELNK, Win, Zayo, and CTL would all make sense, as would private equity.

  • Anonymous says:

    riffs announced on internal all employee call. Leadership team not in control. I’m told Laura Thomas fumbling for words. what a joke.

  • Anonymous says:

    On the other hand you may all be missing something….. with a ego like Icahn’s he may want a yes man, or in this case a yes woman to do what he says?

  • Anonymous says:

    Whats clear is BOD is clueless. The new leadership team is not seasoned nor capable. Expect this company to implode quickly if not spectacularly.

    • Rob Powell says:

      The BOD has always been irrelevant, only Icahn matters. Whatever is going on right now is at his behest.

      • Mr. Poppers says:

        Then why does Icahn hand select BOD members if he can’t entrust them with managing the investment ? Doesn’t CI have more important things to worry about ? do you honestly believe CI puts these BOD folks in so that he can do their job?

  • Anonymous says:

    The word is that the Business Services and Carrier Services business units will be consolidated, and thus layoffs will occur in those two areas, but that layoffs will also cut across other functional organizations that support those two units.

  • XO has operated in the shadows for it’s entire life, no competent marketing leadership or direction all the way back to Ackerson. Unable to disprupt the market place and without real innovation or value prop, the only way it has survived is as a the ward of Icahn who has treated the company as his redheaded step child knowing that if he can keep the ship from sinking that there would one day be a big pay day. That is in his sights now. The one resounding message to come out of this whole reorg is that the team led by Wagner was a wholesale failure. They took over the ship and quickly populated the crew with their cronies and yes men disrupting the SMB/Enterprise orgs. and markets trying to stamp the program with their monogram and inturn almost brought down the whole thing. The company is in a demoralized state.

  • Current XO Employee says:

    You all think you know…NOT.
    Wagner is gone – a good thing. Consolidation of Business Services & Carrier Services could end up being a good thing. New core group – better then what was there more tenure now then before – good thing. Still has solid products and customer focused – a good thing. Its inevitable that XO will be bought…tell me something we don’t know.

    • Pugsly says:

      Agreed…XO is a better place today!

      • Anonymously says:

        Pugsly & Current Employee you two must be in managment. How about you go ask the people this is going to affect such as the OE, CI Agents and the Technicians. As far as they are concern XO is not a better place. The morale is down because of the all the talks of layoffs and changes. Some of us have been here for over 15 years. We’ve have gone thru alot with this company so please don’t state something unless you in the trenches like the front end people.

    • Anonymous says:

      On another thread on TR someone said Heather Gold is now gone too? True?

  • Reaper says:

    XO was once a company of huge potential, and Ichan has ruined it. If these RIFFS are like the ones of 2008-2009 then large numbers of intelligent, experienced, well payed employees will be dumped in favor of lower payed, haven’t a clue replacements. Ichan should rot in hell.

  • Anonymously says:

    Pugsly & Current Employee you two must be in managment. How about you go ask the people this is going to affect such as the OE, CI Agents and the Technicians. As far as they are concern XO is not a better place. The morale is down because of the all the talks of layoffs and changes. Some of us have been here for over 15 years. We’ve have gone thru alot with this company so please don’t state something unless you in the trenches like the front end people.

  • Bailed Out says:

    I left XO recently and all I can say is I’m glad I’m not the last rat off that ship! Most people with good options already have, or are in the process of, bailing out. Combine the FACTS that: XO is treading water (period), which is bad for customers and employees and; the compensation plan is the worst in the industry, only out-awfull’ed by their spectacularly horrible benefits… leaves a whole lot of folks who are going to be left in “Reactinary Mode” when it hits the fan. Women and Children first… save yourselves!!

    • Anonymously says:

      Bailed Out,
      Great statement!!! I left a couple months ago and I’m happy I made the move. The writing was on the wall back in 2010 when execs started to resign.

  • Jacky says:

    Funny how everyone that left is so happy…..I love xo and don’t want to see it go down like all the other clec… Xo is a great place to work at…and no I’m not in management..most of the people that left could not handle the pressure so u bowed out..

    • Bailed Out says:

      Jacky: Slow down on that coolaide fella. I’m with you that 2.5yrs ago XO was promising and the environment was good, but if you work there now how can you

    • Bailed Out says:

      Jacky: Slow down on that coolaide fella. I’m with you that 2.5yrs ago XO was promising and the environment was good, but if you work there now how can you put on blinders to the fact that XO has shreaded the Care, Repair, and Implementations groups, which has made our customers furious (for good reason), and changed the compl plan… in flight…. 5 times in 2 active sales years?? Come one, if you knew my name and my #s, and my Pres Club career at XO you wouldn’t say such foolish things about “pressure” getting to anyone. Smart people Act, they don’t React. Good Luck.

      • Anonymously says:

        Bailed Out,
        I agree with you 100%. I was with XO over 10 years so I been thru the name change, 4 years with a raised and 3 CEO changes. XO was a great place to work for and they did alot for their employees but it all start changing in 2006. So, Jacky please don’t think the people who left couldn’t handle the pressure I been thru a lot with that company. I went thru the ups and downs I seen friends get layoff because of the cut backs. And no I was not in management I was on the front line. So, I heard from customers how response time/ cust care went down over the years because we cut back on CI Agents, technicians, and customer care personnel. So I hope you make it thru the upcoming layoffs as I do my remaining friends at XO.

      • Anonymously says:

        Do you think Wagners direct reports will be first on the block?

        • Anonymous says:

          No. Rumor is Toplisek is moved off to smaller division no longer CMO and replaced by long time well respected internal carrier guy as new CMO. The girl who ran care is now reporting into Ernest with a new role. The SE guy is still there and got more responsibility and the Central RVP got promoted to run all of Sales for enterprise. Thats what i know from talking internally to those left.

          • El Papa Grande says:

            I hope the new marketing guy doesn’t do away with the motivational posters of DW in his spandex! After all, we blew the annual marketing budget on them. No brochures, no presentation folders, no Jigsaw, no advertising…but huge full color posters of big Dan in his spandex (with dozens of extra copies for us to take home to our kids). A wise investment indeed! Go, Go, Go!!!

            Oh…and the decision to give away a Harley Davidson motorcycle to the top sales rep was a great idea too. I hope Kawasaki’s CIO doesn’t catch wind of that brainstorm!

            The title “Chief Marketing Officer” at XO is a joke in itself.

            • Anonymous says:

              Well no different than CIO giving away all those iPads when the owner mr icahn has huge investments in motorola and didn’t even consider their tablet. Btw I’d buy the iPad over any other tab but no different than the motorcycle give away above. Also, when does grivner take any responsibility for a company that ran amuck for many years before any recent people ? Seriously people the CEO is accountable and should be shot by a competent board in the real world but xo isnt the real world. It’s a complicated icahn game.

    • anonymous says:

      Jacky, I was in management and bailed out because I was tired of laying people like you off every other month.

  • Anonymous says:

    The XO saga seems to be coming to an end and this latest chapter may be the most interesting yet!

  • mama said knock you out says:

    IMHO Laura Thomas created panic and uncertainty in a time when a leader needed to project confidence and encouragement. Stuttering and stammering while talking over other executives, obvioulsy concerned about what they are going to say does not project confidence.

    Am I concerned about XO’s future? Oh yes!
    Am I worried about changes in my day-to-day job? No, not a bit.

    Only three things can happen – XO gets bought and we get new business cards (- We get the heave-ho and get new jobs – Or nothing happens and we trek on

    • Ashamed with mgmt says:

      “Mama said ….” is correct. Laura showed her true amateur experience as did gellell. They unnecessarily created fear by not being prepared, communicating reductions, and well just doing the same xo thing…….company is done.

  • glad i left says:

    I recently left XO and I am so glad I got out when I did. The company will become profitable through layoffs and the company will be gutted and sold. Horrible pay plan and benefits. Installation and support were the worst I have ever seen.

  • Anonymous says:

    Employees are scared and productivity has crawled to a standstill. Installs and support are horrible as it is without layoffs. Support employees are overworked and this is a slap in the face. They have the balls to tell everyone on the call XO is striving to be one of the top 100 companies to work for..BS!!

  • im witcha on dat says:

    Anonymous, Rob and everybody else who is no longer xo employee – you’re all right. Ive been at xo for over 13 years – 3-4 WITHOUT a payraise to even break EVEN with inflation (mind you) – Mgt – since becomg XO (NXLK formerly) has been HORRIBLE and only progressively gotten worse – Im on the frontlines (switch, trans, prov) and I tell you from observing at my post – i never gave mgt here any ear cuz they DO NOT UNDERSTAND BUSINESS – period. I’ve owned a biz myself and if I had mgt like here – i’d have fired every last one of them day one – Ive just hung around cuz I survived all the numerous RIF’s of the past – XO= ticking time bomb for Carl to make a few $$$ without much sweat . . .

  • Not given says:

    Do what I did. Put your resume out there even in this economy, call people you know in the business, do anything to help your family survive cause XO wont do fucking squat for you. Why cant XO get rid of the fucking sales trips and rewards program first, doesnt that cost almost as much as laying off good working people. Fuck the new INTERIM CEO, making jokes while saying oh yeah here come the layoffs, what professionalism we have in our executive leadership. Broadview is and I used to work there when it was called ATX, not a bad company.

  • Anonymous says:

    Looks like a corporate puke is unloading bullshit salvo’s with all the propaganda links posted above. This anon obviously is a cult follower of Laura the Red & Geller the 2 bit CIO.

  • Not given says:

    Just dont feel like the executives leadership gives a shit about the pawns. Only care about themselves.

  • Not given says:

    I say we pick a specific day and everyone company wide calls out sick, I mean everyone, just as a way of saying to these executives f u

  • Anonymous says:

    Top 100 Workplace, baby! Nevermind about the below-market pay and the worthless health benefits (which is not the same one the execs get) — just look at the new foosball and pingpong tables!!! Plus the free rotten apples and bagels once a month! GO GO GO!!!! LMAO!!! YES THIS PLACE IS A HUGE JOKE!!!

  • Not given says:

    TOP 100 ?. LMAO. This company is not even in the top 100,000 good luck with that project idiots

  • Anon says:

    The funny thing about those articles is that they are all recognizing XO’s innovative products and services. But I don’t remember anyone criticizing XO for their products.

    What the articles fail to address is how well XO actually installs those services, how well they support those services post-install, how well they pay their Sales folks for selling those services, and how well they treat the PEOPLE who install/support/sell those products.

    Let’s see Gartner, Frost&Sullivan, and Informationweek review those issues.

  • BeachBum says:

    XO by far and away gets more comments on Telecom Ramblings than any other topic… There is either True Love or Pure Hatred (it’s a pretty fine line between the two) going on here. Kind of entertaining, yet kind of sad too!

  • Anonymous says:

    I wish Mr. Powell would create a “like” button so I could “like” some of the more entertainnig comments. Go ahead and give it a try Mr. Powell …. it might be interesting.

  • Disgruntled Anon says:

    Whew. This is better than TMZ. Love all the great insight and profanity folks have provided. So i truly plead to your sensabilities, to think about your fellow colleagues and just abandon your job. This will help cut into the bottom line and hopefully save a few of the hard working folks that have the life sucked out of them due to making up for your poor productivity and cancerous attitude. Oh by the way good job with salvo, glad to see you broke out the thesaurus.

  • anon says:

    is xo still around?

  • Rob Powell says:

    Wow, the travails of XO continue to elicit a great deal of emotion. It suggests that there are some pretty substantial schisms between management and the rank and file right now for which there is no other outlet. Rather than rag on management forever, what would you folks *do* if you were the one taking charge right now? Is it fixable?

    • To the Bomb Shelter! says:

      XO is rearranging chairs on the Titanic…

    • Disgruntled Anon says:

      Rob,

      This is indeed an emotionally charged environment. Interesting question you pose. Instead of complaining I would take action to address the following:

      1. Start holding everyone accountable. Stop making and accepting excuses
      2. Reduce the amount of management. Too many agendas and many that are not consistent.
      4. Get folks appropriate training
      5. Provide more career path/ compensation opportunities. Too many folks made managers because no way to compensate them for excelling as an individual contributor.

    • El Papa Grande says:

      I believe the company is fixable, but not by the current regime. Ever since McCaw left there has been little direction.

      New leadership (private equity) could turn the morale around but it would be a tough journey. The brand is too tarnished. Selling to somebody with a solid reputation is easier, faster, and far more probable than rebuilding.

      The company will be sold and the new owners will benefit from the assets, customer base and the team that remains. This is the easiest, fastest “fix”.

      Question…can anyone tell me how much CI would need to “give away” to the minority if he sells within a year? Is it enough to justify waiting? I realize he’s greedy, but he ain’t stupid. Unless this payout is substantial (which I doubt), I predict heavy layoffs in Q4 and a sale in Q1.

  • Anon says:

    Rob:

    The problem really starts at the top. Nobody knows what CI wants XO to be. The general thought and perception is that he does NOT want to be an actual player in the industry…he just wants to sell it and make a profit off of his “investment”. None of his actions imply otherwise. THAT’S the problem. Without a true, dedicated direction from the top-down, the company is going to be a rudderless ship. How is management supposed to lead the company when everybody thinks that CI doesn’t care about the company and specifically the rank and file that’s making the company go? Do you know how many times CI has spoken to the company? ONCE…when he bought it back in ’03. Great owner. How is management supposed to lead when you’re being asked to lead toward a nebulous, undefined goal?

    The next problem is that the company has never really figured out what they want to be. XO seems to want to be “everything” to “everybody” and have no focus. Every year the focus changes. The company decides it wants to be a mid-level player one year…then the next it decides it needs to go up-market. Then it wants to play in the Enterprise space! But XO doesn’t really have an International play, so how are they going to really play in the Enterprise. Now, XO apparently wants to be a Cloud and CDN company! The Enterprise-play wasn’t the biggest problem because they were getting some bits and pieces of the Enterprise (we had to drop our drawers on pricing to do it mind you), but while getting those bits and pieces XO forgot about their bread and butter, the mid-market, and took resources away from them to re-allocate to the Enterprise customers. AND XO wanted Enterprise-level sales people to work for mid-market salaries/comp.

    They’re just all over the place. So how do they “fix it”? Well, for one, figure out what the hell you want to be. Two, pick a leader that has a track record and can lead you and help become what you want to “be”. Three, treat your employees right (that’s the best asset they have). Four, make good decisions.
    Sorry to ramble (I guess I’m not sorry considering the name of this site), but this company makes HORRIBLE decisions on a day-to-day basis. Most notably were all the decisions they’ve made to cut people, sales comp, etc, in order to hit certain goals. Those people on here that were complaining about the sales commission plans were not exaggerating. It’s horrible.

    Q: Do you want to know how to bring down a company?

    A: You piss off a sales group who’s already disenchanted about the company in the first place (because of the aforementioned poor support and lack of direction) and you cut their commissions with no explanation or logic behind it.
    Then you piss off the people who install and support the customers you’re actually able to bring on board by not giving them inflation-based raises for 5-7 years, while doubling their workload because you fired their colleagues in an effort to improve EBITDA for a quarter or two.

    The reason why you’re seeing so many “spirited” opinions about this company is because these people, at one point, actually cared about XO. People that have worked at XO for a while are pissed that the company they put so much blood, sweat, and tears into is going to sh*t. If people didn’t care, they wouldn’t post. I’ve worked at XO for several years, so I can relate. I’m not a “bitter ex-employee”. I’m a “bitter bystander” to the demolition of my company.

  • XSELLER says:

    THIS IS XO IN A NUTSHELL – TRUST ME!!!! STATED ABOVE BY: ANON
    You piss off a sales group who’s already disenchanted about the company in the first place (because of the aforementioned poor support and lack of direction) and you cut their commissions with no explanation or logic behind it.

    Everything else trickles down after that – sales drives the engine. Instead of having a “balls to the wall” – “boiler room” sales force they have a disenchanted one + their better reps have left because of this. You don’t cut commisions in half and expect to have good morale!!!!

  • Lessons in Failure says:

    Rob – you asked what we need to do to fix XO. Here’s some of my thoughts:

    1. Succession planning – One of the most important things the Board of Directors can do is to plan for leadership succession of many of the key roles such as a CEO. Clearly in XO’s case the BOD failed to do their job for this as they have for many other issues along the way. Going forward the BOD needs to be involved early and often in many things from succession planning to M&A and they need to look for a seasoned leader once they figure out what they are going to do with XO – keep it and hire a great turn around leader or sell it as is – whatever the case the BOD is clearly clueless as Laura Thomas is totally inept, incapable of performing the CEO roles and really shouldn’t even be a CFO as she’s not capable enough to be successful.

    2. Culture – whatever the BOD does they must hold accountable the new interim CEO to fix the culture. Culture is one of the most important issues vexing many companies from getting ahead and XO’s no different. Failure to do so will result in further issues that will render this company a thing of the pass.

    3. Retention of Key Employees – This is simply put a no brainer – doesn’t take much to understand that when your best assets – your employees – leave then you lose something that takes time and money to replace and likely results in negative impact on customer, sales, etc.

    4. Narrow Focus – Focus on key items to attack vigorously like products and services and eliminate non strategic items quickly. You can’t be everything to everyone but what you do decide to do be sure to do it well.

    5. Invest in Resources – XO like other carriers needs to continuously evolve and enhance not just products and services but the employees. Consider rotational programs, training programs, educational programs, attractive benefits for employees (to attract the best when you need to hire) and to support/reward those that stayed through the tough times.

    6. Rewards and Incentives – the company needs the sales machine to be selling like a well oiled machine. Simply put the sales trips, the sales contests, the harley davidsons, market rewards, cars, cash, stock, etc are all tools in the toolbox of any well run sales organization. For all those non sales individuals on this list who are complaining about the “give aways” i say shut up, grab a bag and start selling if you think its so easy. In the infamous words of Jack Nicklaus from A Few Good Men “You need them on that wall” … you need sales people to get out there, sell not only the company products and services but also put their personal brand on the line and bring home the “bacon”. Its a fact of life – you offer these rewards and incentives to sales or your company goes away. pretty simple.

    7. Customer Experience – I know that several folks on this list commented that the tag line of “Think Customer” seemed un-original …. but what i can tell you about XO is their service, support, customer care are some of the worst i’ve experienced in my entire career as a customer of their services. Simply put the worst …. so if some person came up with a slogan where customer experience needs to come first then i’d say why reinvent the wheel rather why not try to get the simple things fixed? Clearly in the case of XO’s service delivery, care, repair, etc keeping it simple and un-original but focusing on thinking about the customer seems to me like a pretty good dose of medicine and something they should take seriously. Its obvious for some who complained on this list that they work in those organizations and like to deflect blame b/c they are incapable of changing or they are simply lazy.

    Unfortunately my last suggestion will never occur but i feel compelled to put on here for the purpose of thoroughness:

    8. Carl Icahn needs to sell XO. He’s incapable and clearly not interested in leading this company by putting a solid BOD together who takes their jobs seriously. So selling it, taking whatever profit he can get, and moving on seems to be a pretty important item that is still to be addressed.

  • anon says:

    respectfully, this misses the point. this clec has structural issues — nothing unique about their assets or offerings. what do they sell or do that is different from every other RLEC, CLEC, ILEC, etc??

    how is the eleventh (or whatever) identical network running IP (identical protocol) going to compete favorably with larger and better run operators? when legacy business was about dial tone and re-selling phone lines, how do you replace revenue.

  • im witcha on dat says:

    Anon is right on the money in pretty much every point he’s outlined.

    “To the Bomb Shelter! says:
    XO is rearranging chairs on the Titanic…”

    LOL! that so hilarious – but sadly TRUE!

  • glad i left says:

    All organizations are driven by sales. Most of the good sales people have left. The bottom line will start to be impacted very soon. The office I worked out of was running about 40% of their sales numbers and most of the other offices were very similar. They were hard up for sales they were claiming letters of intent as actual sales. Most of the sales people had been with the company less that 3 months. Good luck finding a model for success with that kind of turnover.

  • Not given again says:

    ****National call out of work at XO day****

    October 24, lets make sure we let these executives know that we are tired of the BS and change is needed to keep this company afloat.

    • BeachBum says:

      I am betting that 10% of the current work force will not be at XO on October 24th. Therefore about 400 folks will not need to call off, those folks should already be enjoying an extended period of time off. Not sure if organizing a walk out would be the best choice if you are not hoping to be one of the many impacted at XO in the near future.

  • Turn out the lights, the party's over says:

    To the Bomb Shelter! says: XO is rearranging chairs on the Titanic…” – Great statement.

    Mama said knock you out says: Laura Thomas created panic and uncertainty. – Very true.

    Many of the top producers at XO jumped ship in the last 3 weeks. Don’t expect XO to have more than 3 of their top 10 producers in 2012.

    Food for thought: If the top 20% bring in 80% of the revenue, how schewed will the numbers be if 3/4 of the top 20% are gone?

    The fear has made the sales teams ripe for the picking.

  • b ebbers says:

    Try finding out the new mgt team at XO. It will not pull up. More drama to follow

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp says:

    xo Nashville’s top Sales guy jumped-ship to Level 3 last week

    b ebbers this is what you’re looking for:

    http://people.forbes.com/search?ticker=XOHO

    • Anonymous says:

      Half the info is wrong … Burke has been gone for a long time … So this data is incorrect. You likely won’t see updated info given company private. And yes the sales mgr did leave from Nashville to L3. Laura Thomas is driving company into ground.

  • b ebbers says:

    Thank you bubba for that information. But what I was saying you can not pull the board members or the management team up on the XO site itself. Paetec lets you pull that iinformation from there site as well as TW,Winstream and others. If XOs site does not let you have that information me thinks there are more changes at the top. Thanks again bubba.

  • b ebbers says:

    It does work thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    It’ still wrong – Wagner is gone.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wrong. Wagner is still an XO employee. He is, however, no longer president of a unit rather EVP.

  • Anonymous says:

    Not for Long

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure anyone at XO will have jobs for long … given Icahn is clearly going to sell or merge the company … what makes anyone think they are safe? not likely …

  • Wagner Blows says:

    Dan Wagner has run business services into the ground with his layoffs within care, cutting sales comp in half, and general incompetence. I wonder where napoleon ends up next?

  • Reality Will Set In Soon says:

    To “Wagner Blows” – wake up, smell the coffee. XO as a company is a joke. period. If you think that Wagner didn’t do anything you need to put your head back in the hole its been in for the last 10 years. I don’t know Wagner but from what i hear what he and his team did over the last couple of years has put XO on the map from an enterprise customer perspective. Moreover why blame him for things that were broken well before he got to XO from what i am told. Instead of running a 800 person Call Center spread across 15 locations why didn’t the CIO invest in software technology that would allow XO to maximize its capabilites? Whats funny is this CIO is now running the network. Talk about a joke … he’s going to run it into the ground. Thats the joke.

  • Lt. Dan says:

    National OX layoff update October 24. Heard that on the rewards trip to San Fran, people were told that more info regarding the layoffs would be made available. Infact one of the organizers was let go shortly before it.

  • Lt. Dan says:

    ***edit***, sorry its acutally October 21.

    • El Papa Grande says:

      Rumor has it that it might be Thursday the 20th because of the leaks.

      It doesn’t appear that they can even fire people very well.

      Wednesday is “Bring your flash drive to work day”

      “Go, Go, Go!”

  • Looking elsewhere says:

    Do they honestly expect people who what is going not to atleast warn those of us who may suffer from these layoffs, I guess they really think the common worker bee is that dumb. XO is all about one thing, themselves nothing more or less. I heard Braodview is hiring, looking for OPS, Sales, CIA agents ETC, check might be a better alternative than XO. I worked there 7 years ago werent that bad when they were called ATX, but hey its job.

  • Anon says:

    “Reality Will Set In Soon”:

    I think you’re a bit misinformed. Wagner didn’t put us on the map with Enterprise customers. That was the Sales Teams…and XO’s extremely low price points.

    And the curious issue with DanWag is that he continuously earned his “bonuses” despite XO’s steep decline in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and operational stability.

    Come to think of it, the guy is a magician!

  • To the Bomb Shelter says:

    If you are one of unfortunate people to be laid off this week, read everything they give you very carefully. I was part of a reduction in 2010. They offered me 2 weeks of severance with a 10 page packet of legal bs. Glad I read it, because if I agreed to the severance I would be accepting a non-compete for 12 months! Best of luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    Now that XO is private the non compete was in the stock plan which is now cancelled all non competes are off.

  • Looking elsewhere says:

    If I see one email about sales rewards, sales contests, sales trips, sales bonuses I am going to explode like a nuclear weapon over the area, stop sending me these emails, dont copy me, leave me off it, I really dont think its wise to be sending these updates while people are losing there jobs.

  • Loyal Employee says:

    If you are one of the ones who still don’t know – like me – make sure to get your affairs in order today.

    Good luck and God Bless everyone – it has been an honor to work with you all.

  • Looking elsewhere says:

    Kiss your kids and hug spouse, dont like anyone drag you down ESP this god foresaken place. It is a shame that they dont have the guts to cut the money where they really should, just like kids who are not getting their way they have to take out on everybody else waaaaahhhhhh

  • Xo imploding says:

    Wagner destroyed Xo, He fired all of the top management at Xo and brought in GC Cronies that only cared about themselves and their buddies. Xo has some amazing talent that is going to be on the market, loyal, productive talent that has had enough! Laura Thomas, Ernie Ortega are just gutting the place so they can collect a huge golden parachute when that shell of a company is sold. I heard many of the departments are going to get outsourced. Who in their right minds would work for that hellhole.

  • Freedom says:

    Tomorrow the 20th is pink slip day in Nashville.

  • Anonymously says:

    Feeling bad for the people who got laid off today. Sad day ato XO Communications

  • Freedom says:

    Yes the hammer dropped today at XO in Nashville, and it dropped on me too this morning. At least they were nice enough to offer me a box to pack up my stuff. If you are still working notice the line of boxes lined up on your floor. Hope you have great friends in high places.

    • LE says:

      Sorry to hear that. I think we all will be in that place in 9 months or so – if not sooner.

      Best wishes and prayers to you and your family – I am optimistic many displaced will end up benefitting in new gigs in the long run.

  • b ebbers says:

    What departments are most effected?

  • I am in a better place says:

    I was one of the many let go at Wyo today, be honest I dont think its all that bad, I believe this gives me the opportunity to work for a true top 100 company, I know many of us have said why me well in truth I think it will benefit us all when we see this company driven into the ground and then more layoffs happen in the future, trust me more will be coming our way. Good luck to all I wish you nothing but the best, and best wishes in your future employment

  • I am in a better place says:

    PS, I just wanted to tell Laura Thomas and the other executives that made these layoffs possible today.

    [Long string of expletives filtered – let’s keep it reasonably clean folks! -Rob]. May you some day suffer the same fate as many of us have today.

    Good luck in your desperate attempt to become a top 100 company, which I will bet one million dollars that goal will never be accomplished.

  • Former XO'er says:

    Business is about making money, not about carrying people for the sake of ensuring they have jobs. The telecom sector all around us is a sector that is filled with difficult issues such as those faced today by me and many other individuals. The reality is we must not look at this as a failure on our part rather a failure on the part of Laura Thomas and other senior leaders to stand up for what they believe in and protecting the most important asset – people. Closing this chapter, moving on with my life.

    • I am in a better place says:

      I 100 percent agree with you. In case anyone wants to know Broadview is hiring sales, field techs and OPS, they do offer great benefits and starting pay I believe is better than what XO offers, everyone else get out while you can, I doubt the layoffs are over, I feel they will come back this time next year, XO is losing money faster than a person with a gambling addition. Its a shame that the company will be bought and broken up soon. I really wish they would tell people why they are letting them go, I dont buy the BS line of restructure, was it performance FU I met my number and more many times over.

  • bubba gump shrimp says:

    Let me go and I am happy as a clam at high tide!! 🙂 on he other hand – i heard they escorted out a top Op perfomer (Earl W) – man me and this guy sweated night and day in Ops for NXLK/OX and they had the audacity to thank Earl by escorting him out with a security guard!??!? WT**?? That really got under my skin when I heard that about Earl – he gave a lot to NXLK/OX and deserved a lot better than that! That’s downright dispicable!! I am sure he will be better off as well as those who were let go – I KNOW I am!! Very Glad I’m gone . . .

    • Earl W says:

      Thanks for the support. It is greatly appreciated. However right now I am counting my blessing and glad to be gone. If this is who I think Please e-mail me.

      • Former XO employee in PA says:

        Hi Earl its Joe Mcclain from the central design team in Wyo,they let me go to on Thursday, part of the reorganization of the company total BS. Just wanted to say thanks for all your help and support. Its not a failure on mine or your part but its an XO failure in general. Good luck moving forward

  • fyi says:

    seen this on another board: “Closed for Business says:
    Today at 1:42 pm (7 minutes ago)
    I heard a rumor that XO is looking to lay off entire sales teams in 15 markets. I’ve heard so far that Orlando and Atlanta are on that list. Does anyone know the others?”

    • Former XO Employee says:

      Posting the above SEC filing (The “Special Award” Plan for management is an older filing from the days when XO was public; it’s no longer relevant. I’m sure there’s a much different and much more private Plan in place now, involving MUCH more money from Icahn in order for those left in “management” to sit like a lap dog at the feet of Icahn and beg for more…. just a little treat please Master! The people who are left in mgmt. now are those who will do anything for Icahn because they will do anything for Money – it’s dispicable! Do you know what minions are?

  • Former XO Employee says:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2011/10/26/carl-icahn-bans-leaks-about-carl-icahn/

    Here’s more about management’s new contracts (outside of Special Award Plan), new terms and I’m sure, “hush” money now included. Icahn is a senile WACK job, and everyone who has to work with him knows it — that’s why all new contracts with Icahn’s “people” (lap dogs) now contain clauses to “hush” about his personal life, how crazy he is, his family, etc.

  • Wanger Really Blows says:

    Wndering where Wagner will end up? Not in telecom. His reputation is SHOT! Maybe mold remediation, or selling vinyl siding.

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